Every year following Thanksgiving, I look forward to the following things: my mom being in a good enough mood to cook for me every day when I come home, seeing my relatives get drunk and argue over nothing at family gatherings, shopping for gifts and seeing beautiful, colorful lights.
What I don’t look forward to is cringing every time I go shopping and someone says, “Merry Christmas” rather than, “Happy Holidays.” Seems like a trivial things to get worked up over, but let me explain.
While Christmas is widely celebrated and is the most popular December holiday, it is not the only holiday in December. There are several other holidays including, Hanukkah, Kwanza and Boxing Day to name a few. The only reason many people are inclined to say “Merry Christmas” is because that’s the most represented holiday. That’s where the issue lies.
I’ll never forget when I was working as a cashier at a grocery store and after ringing one customer up and saying, “Happy Holidays,” he snapped on me by telling me to say, “Merry Christmas” and stop being politically correct.
Aside from being rude and childish for snapping on a then 16 year old, it’s disturbing that being politically correct when discussing holidays is a problem for some people.
First, saying, “Happy Holidays” is showing respect for those who don’t celebrate Christmas. You can’t tell what holidays someone celebrates just by looking at them, so by saying, “Merry Christmas,” you’re making an assumption that people celebrate that holiday.
Also, although you may not intend to, only saying “Merry Christmas,” exudes a superiority complex.
Christmas is not the only December holiday, but to refuse to say, “Happy Holidays” is saying that Christmas is the only December holiday that matters and is worth acknowledging in a simple greeting or salutation.
Secondly, what’s the issue with being politically correct? The purpose of being politically correct is to be mindful of groups of people who aren’t a part of the majority. I don’t find it to be a coincidence that those so opposed to being politically correct aren’t a part of any marginalized group.
In all honesty, the term, “politically correct” is flawed anyway. It should just be “correct.”
Being respectful of those different from you shouldn’t be considered political, it should be considered a part of being a decent human being.
The word limit has creeped up on me again, so I’ll close by saying to please be considerate of those who have different customs or celebration systems than you this holiday season.
It’s not that big of a deal to be correct and say, “Happy Holidays.” However, it is a big deal to refuse to say it on the grounds that you should only say, “Merry Christmas.” That, to me and to others, is blatant disrespect and disregard for other cultures. Don’t be that guy.